Liverpool Football Club was founded in 1982 and are one of the most successful football teams in England. The team play internationally and are based at their home ground in Anfield, Liverpool.
LFC have their own merchandise shop which they distribute from worldwide. As a result, increasing popularity means that it’s driving the clubs merchandising market forwards and also involving their international fans. The store sells anything from key-rings to personalised jerseys with the players names on and can be bought from their multiple stores or online, helping Liverpool’s success on and off the pitch.
LFC offer high quality products at a competitive price, as a result of this, millions of satisfied customers are globally increasing the awareness surrounding LFC.
LFC Distribution Centre fulfils over 200,000 e-commerce parcels every year to over 140 countries worldwide. In general the operation is similar to other e-commerce fulfilment centre’s – pick, pack and despatch of orders. What is different within Football Retail is the need to customise merchandise, e.g. also print name & number on the jerseys, which at peak times can be up to 40% of all orders.
Keeping track of those orders and minimising picking & packing errors is therefore highly important. LFC required a system that could track the entire pick & pack process by automated integration with the Warehouse Management System (WMS), allowing warehouse staff to scan items when packing an order, logging any errors reported during the packing process and posting completed orders into their delivery management system.
LFC also need to print out invoices and multi-courier specific labels to go with the packed items and a system that was quick and easy to use allowing speedy turnaround of orders for multiple users. A further requirement was detailed reporting on team and individual performance in order to identify areas for improved service.
The introduction of the ‘FAQ’ (Fulfillment, Accuracy, Quality) module designed in collaboration with IT Developers, enabled LFC to reduce a key performance indicator (pick & pack error %age) from 1% to below 0.2%. This provided for significant savings on stock, postage and staffing costs.
The bespoke designed despatch interface allows integration with the WMS and despatch systems enabling a seamless and user/staff friendly process. It provides administrative features to allow management staff to modify orders, manage users and have access to a variety of performance reports designed using Crystal Reports.
As part of the technical solution, a .Net windows forms based ClickOnce application was implemented. Oracle Data Access Components were integrated with the existing Order Management database, pulling details for orders into a SQL Server back end FAQ database. The application connects to the 3rd party web services provided by their delivery management system and posts completed orders via SOAP calls.